Late President J. R. Jayawardane initiated a massive operation to create an Executive Presidency with the intention of ensuring stability and economic freedom in the country, Pradeep Jayawardane, grandson of the first Executive President yesterday said.
Mr. Jayawardane, who authored the book 'Prajathanthrawadaye Ekadhipathiya’ (Dictatorship within Democracy), speaking at the book launch said yesterday that the Executive Presidency helped in effectively navigating the country amidst many grave challenges.
“The Executive Presidency helped in containing and defeating invasions, intrusions by foreign military, uprisings and the war which was ravaging the country,” he said.
However, he said the Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka never grew into a Presidency like that of in the US which constantly clashed with the Congress.
“After the Executive Presidency was created, JR made 10 pledges to ensure that the post will not become a powerhouse that overshadows the Parliament. He pledged to go through the MPs and Ministers without appointing a separate team for the President. He also pledged not to create an over-powerful Secretary to President. These pledges which were followed by all Presidents helped Sri Lanka in preventing the Executive from growing into one like in the US,” he said.
Another book titled ‘Elina Jayewardene’ which was authored by Sagarika Dissanayake was also launched at the event which was attended by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President Maithripala Sirisena, family members of the Jayewardene family and others.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa, commenting on the biography ‘Elina Jayewardene’ the wife of late President JR Jayewardene, said many politicians fail or become wane due to actions of their wives and that they could learn from the life of Elina Jayewardene.
“I got to know of Ms. Jayewardene when I was staying in a house next to the Jayewardenes. She was a humble character. Launching a book on her life story is timely and this book will help many, especially women," Mr. Rajapaksa said.(Lahiru Pothmulla)